Author Topic: Wedding Gifts  (Read 8626 times)

mlipps

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Wedding Gifts
« on: November 29, 2012, 09:16:35 AM »
Fiancee and I are getting married in May. I wanted to get the opinions of folks here about what do about a wedding registry. I've been trying to write down things I want that can wait until May that we might be able to put on it and so far my list looks like this:

-New sheets
-Pressure cooker?
-Go to Home Depot and pick tools?
-Second set of dishes so we have service for 8?

In other words, there's very little that we want or need. I definitely can't see going to Bed Bath & Beyond and picking out $2k worth of stuff. My extended family, especially on my mom's side, is not very internet savvy, so I'm not sure something like a honey moon registry would work.

On top of that, I feel like we're much better off, at least income wise, than basically any of our friends or my family, including my parents. Honestly, I feel weird about the whole idea of receiving gifts from them for this occasion to start with, but I know some people will want to give us things.

I've gone back and forth about the honeymoon registry for at least our friends to use, but I think we're just going to go camping out west somewhere...Short of asking for cash for a house downpayment to you guys have any suggestions? I guess I'm afraid that if we don't have ANY registry, well intended people will just give us more stuff we don't want/need (and can't fit in our small apartment), and I just HATE clutter & crap. Any thoughts?

(Obligatory acknowledgment that this is a super first world problem...)

Phoebe

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2012, 09:32:06 AM »
When we got married we had the same problem, but we knew from the get-go that in our families a honeymoon registry would be frowned upon.

But we were pleasantly surprised when we went to Crate and Barrel (we first went to Bed Bath and Beyond and it was not very fun, I'd recommend somewhere else) how much "good" stuff we needed.  Sure, we had mismatched plates and low cost knives, but there were a bunch of solid things that we would up getting that allow us to cook at home all the time and should last us a very very long time.  We also registered at Target so that our registry would have many different price points

*Really good knives
*A larger slow cooker and cookbook
*A really nice blender that can chop ice without having to keep pushing it down
*Nice towels
*Lots of serving items - I hadn't hosted a Thanksgiving or anything like that and so platters, gravy boats, serving spoons were all great gifts to receive
*Nice sheets, comforter, etc.
*A few tools for my husband

And still a ton of people gave us cash.  So I would definitely recommend registering for at least some stuff, otherwise you will end up with things you don't want/need.

igthebold

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2012, 09:48:45 AM »
You could have people donate $20 to a charity of your choice. That would accomplish two things: 1) get money to a charity, 2) send a message about you in relation to possessions.

I'm sure a lot of people will want to feel like they're contributing to the establishment of a household, but what with people getting married later, it's more a question of merging than establishing. Not sure how your crowd will handle this dynamic.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2012, 09:53:19 AM »
First off, congrats! Getting married is a celebration- getting too many gifts is indeed a first world problem. :)

You could argue that for many people, marriage is the point in life where a couple really enters the realm of 'real' households. Society expects newlyweds to move from boozed-up birthday bashes to more adult dinner parties. Eventually it will be your home, not your parents', where the family gathers for the holidays. As such, they should own quality items that will, over time, become part of the family and passed on to later generations. In this regard, a Christmas dinner set is a wonderful gift- a comforter, not so much. Can you think of things your families have owned as long as you can remember, or were even passed to them from their own parents? They need not be expensive, and that's the sort of things to shoot for.

RadicalPersonalFinance

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2012, 10:35:44 AM »
www.honeyfund.com is awesome.

There are many others, too.  It's way better than getting the stuff.

cthulhu

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2012, 10:50:16 AM »
 Congratulations!

I second the charity idea.  It allows people to give what they can afford and you to support a cause that is important to you with your festivities and not end up with more random stuff.

If you think people won't be able to handle showing up empty handed you could do something like a school supplies/pet supplies drive where you take it all to an appropriate organization afterwards.

Otherwise - personally at least, i can never own enough stuff from thinkgeek  :)  you might have a hobby or collection they could assist with if you want targetted types of stuff.

Al

maryofdoom

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2012, 11:00:06 AM »
Congratulations on your impending nuptials!

Gift-giving is fraught with peril. Honestly, I think it's pretty rude to tell people what you want and don't want, and I hate gift registries for precisely this reason. When I am presented with the option of a registry, I don't buy anything from it. (Usually I give handmade needlework pieces that are significant to the couple, or a needlework piece for a new baby that has the kid's name and birthdate on it.)

When my husband and I got married, one of my sisters guilted me into making a tiny registry list on Amazon, but I really wish I hadn't done that. Since we didn't really even have a registry, and we didn't put registry information in our wedding invitations (I hate this), people mostly just gave us cash. Which was lovely.

Some things that we got that weren't cash included a homemade sushi clock, a really nice quilt, two cast iron skillets, and a comfy mattress pad.

About the best thing you can do is to BE GRACIOUS, even if people get you things you don't want. If that is the case, write a nice thank-you note and then figure out a way to get rid of the item.

(Yes, be Mustachian and hope for things you need, but seriously: don't be rude.)

mlipps

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2012, 11:04:41 AM »

(Yes, be Mustachian and hope for things you need, but seriously: don't be rude.)

I think you hit the nail on the head here; this is exactly the balance I'm trying to strike. The charity suggestion is interesting, although I'm not sure if people would be up for it or not. Worth a try. YOUR wedding gifts sound awesome!

And thanks to all for the input & kind words!:)

Honest Abe

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2012, 11:32:54 AM »
Betterment has a gift registry... You can tell people it's a fund for your future child's education! People will be glad to give what they can I'm sure

https://gifts.betterment.com/main

AJ

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2012, 11:40:16 AM »
Honestly, I think it's pretty rude to tell people what you want and don't want, and I hate gift registries for precisely this reason. When I am presented with the option of a registry, I don't buy anything from it.

I don't understand why etiquette rules have such a hard time keeping up with culture changes. Telling someone point blank what don't want to receive might be rude, but that is not what a registry is. Creating a gift registry is something you do for your guests, to help ease the process of selecting a useful gift for you. I feel like at this point it is rude to not make one, and to instead rely on the outdated custom of forcing your guests to track down your parents and ask them what you might like. Seriously, who wants to call strangers and ask what their adult children want to receive (or, for that matter, what parent wants to receive dozens of phone calls from strangers asking while they are trying to prepare a wedding for their kids)?

I like registries because I like giving practical gifts that the couple will actually want and use (though, to that end, I usually just give cash whenever I can get away with it). No one *has* to buy off the registry (or even give a gift, for that matter).

To the OP - try to think about the household things you may want further down the road. When I got married I wasn't thinking about things like serving platters or cloth napkins for the "grown up" parties we would later want to have. Also, as other mentioned, "nicer" versions of things you may already have that will last a lifetime. When we were growing up my mother had a really nice thick cutting board she had received as a wedding gift that lasted forever. Things like that...

madgeylou

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2012, 11:52:16 AM »
i just got married in september, and my husband and i had the same debate. there's not much we want or need, but there was some stuff we could use, so we registered for it -- some fiestaware, some binoculars / hammocks / headlamps to use on our month-long honeymoon in costa rica, towels / napkins / kitchen stuff.

almost everyone gave us cash -- i think we only received like 5 gifts from our registry. we only had 50 people at our wedding, so it was a small party anyhow, but the standard around here seems to be cash. which was really nice to get and actually paid for our whole wedding and part of our honeymoon too!

we used http://www.merciregistry.com -- i liked it because it had a simple interface and it allowed us to add stuff from anywhere on the web. we registered for some items from REI, some from etsy, and some from amazon. also, when setting up the registry, i made sure to use links that paid out into my amazon affiliate account, too!  but merci registry isn't free -- i think it cost us $30.

anyhow, congrats! 

maryofdoom

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2012, 01:08:06 PM »

I don't understand why etiquette rules have such a hard time keeping up with culture changes. Telling someone point blank what don't want to receive might be rude, but that is not what a registry is. Creating a gift registry is something you do for your guests, to help ease the process of selecting a useful gift for you. I feel like at this point it is rude to not make one, and to instead rely on the outdated custom of forcing your guests to track down your parents and ask them what you might like. Seriously, who wants to call strangers and ask what their adult children want to receive (or, for that matter, what parent wants to receive dozens of phone calls from strangers asking while they are trying to prepare a wedding for their kids)?

I see your point here - it is very nice to have an idea of what types of items the couple might need or like.

What I really hate is when registry information is placed prominently in an invitation. To me, it sends the message, "Hey, I'm having this event, and it would be great if you could make it, but be sure you BUY ME A GIFT! AND ONLY BUY ME SOMETHING I ALREADY DECIDED I WANT!!!"

It is entirely possible that I'm being pedantic and out-dated on this issue. Maybe this situation will change entirely in the next twenty years and it will be super rude to not have a registry for every major life event. And I will probably just continue on my present course (and shake my fist at every invitation I receive with registry information on it).

mlipps

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2012, 01:22:02 PM »
i just got married in september, and my husband and i had the same debate. there's not much we want or need, but there was some stuff we could use, so we registered for it -- some fiestaware, some binoculars / hammocks / headlamps to use on our month-long honeymoon in costa rica, towels / napkins / kitchen stuff.

almost everyone gave us cash -- i think we only received like 5 gifts from our registry. we only had 50 people at our wedding, so it was a small party anyhow, but the standard around here seems to be cash. which was really nice to get and actually paid for our whole wedding and part of our honeymoon too!

we used http://www.merciregistry.com -- i liked it because it had a simple interface and it allowed us to add stuff from anywhere on the web. we registered for some items from REI, some from etsy, and some from amazon. also, when setting up the registry, i made sure to use links that paid out into my amazon affiliate account, too!  but merci registry isn't free -- i think it cost us $30.

anyhow, congrats!

Genius! This is the kind of stuff I knew I would turn up if I asked you wise folks. I'm more than willing to pay a small fee if it means I can add things I actually want. There's some nice home decor from Etsy I'd love, and we can probably find some great camping gear like you did around the web as well. Thanks for the idea! Also, these responses are making me optimistic we might actually just get cash from more people than I thought, which I definitely wouldn't say no too. :)

ETA: THIS IS SO PERFECT! :) We can integrate a donations link for our favorite charity, I can ask for cash donations for our honeymoon & a camera to document it, and then add links to stuff we want from around the web. I LOVE IT! :)
« Last Edit: November 29, 2012, 01:25:47 PM by mlipps »

madgeylou

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2012, 05:50:39 PM »
What I really hate is when registry information is placed prominently in an invitation. To me, it sends the message, "Hey, I'm having this event, and it would be great if you could make it, but be sure you BUY ME A GIFT! AND ONLY BUY ME SOMETHING I ALREADY DECIDED I WANT!!!"

It is entirely possible that I'm being pedantic and out-dated on this issue. Maybe this situation will change entirely in the next twenty years and it will be super rude to not have a registry for every major life event. And I will probably just continue on my present course (and shake my fist at every invitation I receive with registry information on it).

i'm with you -- i'm not a fan of that either. i am happy with how we handled it, which was to have our invitation direct people to our website for details on the day, directions, accommodation information, etc. one of the sections we had was called "gifts" and here is approximately how we worded it:

"we have everything we need, and our greatest wish is simply for you to join us for the wedding. if you do feel moved to give us something (thank you!) we've put together a registry of items we could make good use of, which you can find here." and then a link to our merci registry.

a few people missed it and asked me about a registry, but most people were able to easily find it if they wanted it. some people i know have kind of treated life events as a gift-grab and that really turns me off. i knew some people would want to give us a gift, and for others it was going to be challenging enough just to get there. i definitely wanted to give people an out and underline the point that gift giving is optional. i absolutely hate when it feels otherwise!

also, mlipps, i'm so glad merci is useful to you! i think it's a husband/wife team who created their own registry a few years ago, and decided to make it a product, which i think is kind of awesome. i found it to be a little buggy to edit pictures and links, but easy to work around -- just delete things and recreate them when you want to make changes.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2012, 05:53:25 PM by madgeylou »

SilverSoul

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2012, 09:10:49 AM »
Good discussion here!

I will probably be getting married in the next couple of years, and this thread has given me some food for thought.  To be honest, I don't really want a registry or even a lot of gifts.  I'm thinking of making it that giving a gift is completely optional, but if anyone chooses to give a gift, cash is preferred.  This sounds perfectly reasonable in my mind - can anyone think of any major downsides or problems with that approach?

mlipps

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2012, 12:12:52 PM »
Yes, it's rude to assume the people would give you a gift, so there's no way to politely tell them a gift is optional, let alone ask for cash. It's already implied that a gift is optional, and frankly, if I got an invite/link to wedding site that said "gifts optional", I'd probably be quite annoyed.

grantmeaname

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2012, 01:54:58 PM »
It's already implied that a gift is optional, and frankly, if I got an invite/link to wedding site that said "gifts optional", I'd probably be quite annoyed.
I think it's not already implied. To me a wedding is a social function in which the expectation is that everybody brings a gift, and stating that gifts are optional gives guests explicit permission to not buy a gift. Why would you be annoyed by them saying "gifts optional"?

okits

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2012, 04:19:33 PM »
It's already implied that a gift is optional, and frankly, if I got an invite/link to wedding site that said "gifts optional", I'd probably be quite annoyed.
I think it's not already implied. To me a wedding is a social function in which the expectation is that everybody brings a gift, and stating that gifts are optional gives guests explicit permission to not buy a gift. Why would you be annoyed by them saying "gifts optional"?
The social convention is very strong, despite the fact that gifts should be freely given, versus the obligation and social expectation they have become. If you don't want gifts of any kind, you can state very clearly (and in good taste) on the invitation, "best wishes only".  If you only want cash, wedding guests are supposed to ask the maid/matron of honor or the best man what would be appropriate (registry/cash) as a gift, and they can discreetly pass on the message that money would be appreciated.

Any mention by the couple of what gifts they want (except to say "none") is a bit crass, as it's impolite to (publicly) request or expect them. Times change, though, some people aren't shy about treating their weddings as a business (which I find pretty gross, if that's the main point of them getting married.)

AlexK

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2012, 04:27:54 PM »
I got married in August. We eloped but had a reception 2 weeks later for friends and family. We simply said "no gifts, we have enough stuff".

meadow lark

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2012, 06:55:35 PM »
You could always do a walmart or Target registry, then return everything and get gift cards to buy food and toilet paper.  Or just request gift cards.  Obviously I am not a sentimental type...
Lark

A440

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2012, 08:54:39 PM »
We used http://www.alternativegiftregistry.org/  which you can make generic sort of requests "muffins pans--Goodwill finds welcomed" or "someone to feed our cat while we are on honeymoon" etc.  I think this acknowledges that gift-giving is a major part of wedding culture for many, but you can turn down the consumerism a little.

fidgiegirl

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2012, 09:10:07 PM »
We went overboard to offer everyone "options."  We had one of those catch-all online registries much like the one discussed, but not that exact one, and I wish we had just stuck with that or the honeymoon registry.  Our mistake was registering at Target.  Someone said to me "man, you must really love Target so we got you gift cards to Target."  Wrong!!  We don't really love Target, we just wanted a few things on there for non-Internet savvy people to get.  Shouldn't have!  Lots of people gave us random stuff that wasn't anywhere on our registry, too.  I don't even know if we'd make one again. . . that said, we got a lot of $$ for our honeymoon and put it to good use on our lovely trip.

Hmmm, I don't know if I can look around and see a single thing that was a wedding gift . . .

joseph100

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Re: Wedding Gifts
« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2012, 04:24:05 AM »
Congratulations!